When Happily Ever After… Isn’t

Prayers And Questions

Every. Single. Night. We. Prayed. We prayed constantly in our hearts. Why couldn’t we get pregnant? Why did we have a miscarriage…again? Was I worthy of another child? Was I worthy of the one I already had? What were we doing wrong? Where were all the promised blessings?

These were the thoughts that haunted me during the waiting. Sometimes a reprieve could be found when we looked at things from a different perspective or remembered to be patient. Mostly though, these were the thoughts that ate at my soul, causing me to doubt myself all the time. Someday if we finally get to hold our baby will all of this be worth it?

A New Purpose

As the years passed, so did some of the pain and some of the hope along with it. We enjoyed life for what it was. We had each other and a fabulous son. When my husband’s mother, Glenda, was diagnosed with cancer, we had the opportunity to move in with them. We helped care for her and I felt like things became a little clearer. We only had one child, who was about to enter school full time and I was still a stay at home mom. Our lives were movable and flexible enough to make that change. Also, we were close to his parents so it would be a pleasant experience. This was why we hadn’t had another child, right?

It was a wonderful, stressful, faith building, family building, and beautiful gift that we were given to be there throughout that time. I experienced an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, as we loved and served our parents. God loves her, and He loves me too. My husband got to spend time with his parents and especially his Mom that he otherwise wouldn’t have. Our son loves his grandparents very much and he was blessed to be able to spend so much time with them.

I got to face some of the previous heartache of losing my own mother to cancer suddenly, as I was able to care for Glenda as she succumbed to the cancer slowly. She taught me so much about faith as she faced with assurance the moments we know so little about in death. I felt strong in the knowledge of God and the reality of life after death.

Was This Our Answer?

After Glenda’s passing, life slowed down for all of us. We had to figure out who we were now. Things had been so full for me. Now without a full time child at home (because he was now in first grade, instead of half day kindergarten), with my husband working a full time regular job (when he had been working from home previously), and without Mom to care for, who was I? Also the heavenly help that had felt so close as I tried my best to do all I could for Mom was no longer needed, and I faced a spiritual low. What now?

We limped along, and healed, and grieved for all that was lost. We tried our best to remember all that had been gained over all those months. Three months out we were truly surprised when we found out that we had been chosen by a birth mother and would soon be meeting our daughter. Happy day! We anxiously prepared for her arrival, a new found purpose in our life. A nursery, a wardrobe, all the supplies, I certainly had a lot to occupy my time with. I enjoyed the sweet assurance that this would be our daughter and faced no doubt that she would be welcomed into our family. We were being blessed for our patience.

Continuing My Journey

That sweet baby did join our family and is our beautiful ten year old miracle baby today. To my surprise, that wasn’t the end of my infertility journey. I did not find that as soon as my arms were full of baby that my insecurities melted away. Of course, there was a time where I was fully immersed in all things baby, unaware that the feelings of doubt, and wonders of worthiness would haunt me again very soon.

So why did all these things happen? Is there something to be learned here? I don’t know all the answers, but I know there is much to be learned here. The feeling that I carried of being broken, and not feeling whole, did not disappear overnight. In fact, it wasn’t until I began a journey to better myself physically and spiritually that I found wholeness and peace.

Building Me

I needed to learn that I was of worth to my Father in heaven, that He loved me, exactly the way I was. I knew I needed to learn to love myself too. He wasn’t withholding blessings from me because of anything I had done, or anything that was done to me. Past wounds and traumas hurt my very soul and caused me to doubt myself. This also went right along with past mistakes and transgressions, even those I had overcome and found forgiveness for. I learned that He had so many things in store for my life that I needed to be ready for.

As I built myself up on the inside and outside I found strength and love for myself and felt the love that can only be found when we look in the right places. Our Savior and our Heavenly Father love us, all that we are and all that They know we can become. This is why we hadn’t had more children. They love me and knew which path would bring me what I really needed. Along with the beautiful daughter that has changed our life so much, a growth of spirit that I had through all those dark nights brings me such strength and wisdom that bless my life every day.

Living Happily Amidst the Waiting

I am not saying that all things that happen are for our good. No cliché remarks here. The reality is that there is joy to be found in suffering. In the difficult times we reach out to those that can lift us, our families and friends, our Savior, our Father in heaven.  They lift us and love us through the hard times. Strength is gained when we face adversity and when adversity comes again we are stronger. When adversity comes for those that we love we have the strength to lift them and lighten their burdens. Love is the greatest strength we have, and we use it to grow and comfort and heal. It is truly a tremendous power.

Recently, we have again faced infertility after unexpectedly welcoming two babies into our family a few years ago. Last year we did seven unsuccessful IVF treatments in an attempt to bring into our family one more soul that is calling out to me. This time it was different. I faced each medication, treatment, surgery with peace and knowledge that there is a plan for me and for our family. I can’t see it yet, and the question still remains, why can’t we have another child?! On the good days, which this go around are most days, I truly know how much joy the answer to that question is going to bring us. Happily ever after really isn’t a thing…and I’m trying to be mindful of that and do my best to live happily amidst the waiting.